Grinderswitch, Honest to Goodness

George Smith

By George Smith

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Started by a crew dog for the Allman Brothers, Grinderswitch were signed to Phil Walden's Capricorn Records, guaranteeing that the band would be a Southern rock opening act mainstay from 1974-77. But no hit single or big break ensued and Grinderswitch were lost in the dust of other second-tier acts like Marshall Tucker Band and Wet Willie. Across the pond in England, though, John Peel adopted "Pickin 'the Blues," a smoking instru-boogie from their second album, Macon Tracks, and made it his show's theme music for a couple decades. Honest to Goodness, Grinderswitch's 1974 debut, starts powerfully with "Kiss the Blues Goodbye." Sparkling and electric, it sounds like a poor man's Allmans, a tone and style upheld over the course of the entire record, cemented by the appearance of Dicky Betts and production by Jaimoe. Half the band is dead so there's no worry concerning a reunion tour spoiling the reputation.